UNDP / South Sudan - Web-based prisons information management system
To strengthen the Rule of Law in South Sudan by enforcing and maintaining law and order, and providing equitable access to justice, the judicial institutions of South Sudan with support from UNDP, sought to implement the South Sudan Development Plan (SSDP). The SSDP was launched in 2011 as a national planning instrument designed to drive the country’s development in its first 5 years of independence.
The plan focuses on realising freedom, equality, justice, peace and prosperity for all. The rule of law objective of the SSDP is to increase security in communities and protect human rights for all, through a functioning criminal justice system. The four judicial institutions namely, the Police, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, the Courts, and the Prisons, lacked collaboration in properly managing case records, determining charges, and managing convicts.
Therefore, to support the justice institutions in protecting human rights for all, strengthening the rule of law, and ensuring equitable access to justice, an effective unified case monitoring system was needed. With a unified case monitoring system, the four judicial institutions have the opportunity to collaborate for inclusive criminal justice, and efficiently manage the case records and inmate admissions.
The design and development of the unified case monitoring information system (JC Portal) was contracted to Bewsys by the UNDP South Sudan. In scoping the requirements for the JC Portal, the Bewsys consulting team worked in close collaboration with the chain of judicial institutions to design and implement a monitoring system based on the best practices in other countries and conforming to the constitutional and legislative procedures of South Sudan.
Through this, the consulting team categorised the components of the JC Portal into four: Police Case Tracking Management system (POLCAT), Case Management system (CMS) for Ministry of Justice, Judicial Case Management System, and Website, SEO and social media handles for Police, Justice, Judiciary, and Law Review Commission. The JC Portal was custom-built based on the case management, system administration, registration, and report generation modules of the Bewsys Social Protection MIS.
The case monitoring system was designed to feature an open-source content management system that enabled the web administrator to easily upload unlimited content, and content updates on the website without the need for programming. The front-end of the web application was created to be responsive for multiple platforms including desktop, tablet, and mobile devices. The JC Portal was designed to support two languages: Arabic and English.
The web portal was also designed to support collaboration by allowing all four judicial institutions protection stakeholders to access and use the data on reported cases, investigation reports, criminal proceedings reports, and statistical reports on inmates and persons on remand. In collaboration with the programmatic team from the chain of judicial institutions and the UNDP, the JC Portal was piloted to ensure the functionality and feasibility of the system.
Through the transparent criminal case monitoring system, there is increased collaboration among institutions of the justice system for effective rule of law in South Sudan. With the JC Portal, the backlog of the judicial system is reduced and officials can enforce the law to resolve disputes and protect human rights efficiently in fair and transparent processes. The government of South Sudan can effectively advance sustainability in the region by promoting peaceful societies, promoting peaceful and strong institutions and reducing inequalities.